10/02/2010

EFT Module: Bugs or by Design?

Quite recently, I had a chance to work on EFT for Payables Management module first time as one of my clients wanted this feature implemented in their environment for Dynamics GP 10 for one of the global bank format. During the feasibility test, I found the following issues which I termed them as “bugs” while Microsoft Technical support doesn’t want them to term them as bugs and instead call them “by design”. Well, while I understand it is always difficult to accommodate specific requests into a product that has a global reach and instead guide those requests to be routed to a product suggestion however I felt the below issues are far more critical to be fixed as they question the very functionality of EFT module in specific.

In EFT File Format maintenance, there is calculation field mapping that is available to map certain fields. Whenever calculation type is selected in maps to field, then various options appear as shown in the image below.

eft_1

The purpose of these calculation types are as follows that is provided in GP documentation.

eft-2

The documentation states these types are often used in batch footers or file footers of flat files, however, it doesn’t explicitly deny the fact that they are supposed to work in other line types. Below are the issues with these calculated fields. (Not all calculated fields are tested)

1. Line count when used in File header generates 1 constantly when it is supposed to place the value of total number of lines in the file. Say a file has 10 lines including file header, it has to place a value of 10 but it generates value 1 constantly.

2. Total Credit Amount when used in batch header generates 0 value

3. Detail count when used in batch header generates 0 value

I didn’t test the other calculated fields though. I went to Microsoft Technical support route to help fix these issues and here is the final reply that I received from them.

The Line Count, Number of Credits, and Total Credit Amount calculations are only designed to work in the footer lines (Batch Control, File Control, etc).  They do not work in the header files at this point, by design.  The calculations create the field in the footer lines and then update them as the EFT file is written.  Adding the functionality to the header rows at this point is not a possibility and may slow down the file processing procedure as well.

I’m in total disagreement to the above statement personally for the following reasons.

1. EFT in its first place is a module that has to be configured according to the formats provided by different banks. In other words, the module needs to be flexible enough to set any type of format.

2. It is not logical to expect the banks to follow the GP format and it should be the other way round. Expecting all banks to have line count, Total credit and number of credits like fields only in footer lines is not a valid assumption in my personal opinion.

3. In EFT, there are some readily defined formats. Among those formats, CA-National Bank of Canada (refer to image below) and CA-RBC Royal Bank have line count field defined in the file header. So How can we say that this is by design when there are several banks requiring the line count and other fields in File header or Batch header or Detail lines?

eft-3

 

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4. If this is the case, what’s the point providing a user-defined format in the format type if the system isn’t flexible enough to accommodate the bank specific formats?

Having said the above, I must say the module works absolutely perfect in terms of functionality barring few other format issues. Fortunately, In my case I’m blessed with a highly qualified in house dexterity development team who has been able to take care of the above issues very quickly through dexterity. I just thought to highlight the above issues to get to know anyone else with better thoughts or similar experience on this.